A major part of modern marketing strategies is often digital. Consumers and businesses alike are almost always online and when you are a growing business, the ever-changing digital landscape can be an overwhelming one. With many other responsibilities and tasks to focus on, how can you also efficiently create and maintain an effective digital marketing strategy?
What is digital strategy and marketing?
A digital strategy answers the fundamental questions of who an organization will engage and how. Implementing a digital strategy increases outreach capabilities and raises an organization’s public profile like putting a public face on an organization.
Digital marketing is the promotion of brands or products and services through the use of digital advertising such as a brand’s website, email blasts, search engine optimization (SEO), social media engagement, blogs, games, apps and other customer relationship management (CRM) tools. The first step into creating an effective digital brand presence is to create a web strategy.
Businesses without digital strategy
Imagine going on a road trip without a map or GPS. You drive for hours on end and your gas and lodging bills are piling up. All of the cheap accommodations, bad coffee and lack of sleep are getting to you. All of this just to find out you have been driving in the completely wrong direction and now have to backpedal, costing you double the time and money.
Many business owners make huge investments in their businesses without first having a business plan. What is in your head doesn’t count and a business without a clear written strategy will most likely fail. Things become more complicated when a good business strategy is in place, but it does not align with the business’s digital presence. This is when the help of a digital marketing expert would come in handy.
Take for instance a business owner who has an awesome product, strong business model and best customer service in the industry. He ranks well on Google but somehow this doesn’t convert to sales. He has started to seriously rethink things and has reached his wits end.
Putting more money into increasing the business’s digital presence is generally the natural reaction to this type of situation. This business owner created and re-created his website. He spends countless hours on Facebook and Instagram trying to engage his audiences. He writes a blog post every week. He spends thousands of dollars into paid search engine optimization (SEO) and Google advertising. It seems like he is doing all the right things, and this brings visitors to his digital doors but somehow, they never turn around and come back.
Expensive traffic won’t necessarily convert into sales
A bounce rate is the percentage of users who enter a site and then leave rather than continue to explore further. Our sample business owner’s bounce rate was above 80%, which is an obvious sign of trouble. It means his visitors did not find the content usable or relevant. If this is the case when you are running paid online advertising, it could also mean that your ads are misrepresentative of your value proposition.
Obviously, there could be many reasons that have led up to this dilemma. However, if you believe that your overall product and business model is strong, concise and has clear direction, you need to look for an explanation elsewhere.
If your digital and business objectives are out of alignment – you need a digital strategy
This most likely happened because of the following:
- Clear, measurable digital objectives that align with your business were not established and your site poorly reflects what you actually do
- You don’t take into account your business and digital competition and don’t have the resources to do this marketing research
- You are simply hoping that people will stumble upon your website. With billions of websites out there, likely your only visitors will be spammers and bots
- Not much if any time is spent staying on top of digital trends
- Too much time is spent on experimenting and hoping something will eventually stick
- Your website is designed with your organizational structure in mind as opposed to your users’ needs
- The technology you use causes your website to lag behind since you cannot afford expensive upgrades and administrative overheads
All of these reasons produce a poor return on investment and results in serious waste and inefficiency. You need a business plan and it must be a paper. It can be informal like bullet form and only needs to fit on one or two pages. This document should cover topics such as mission,
vision, objectives, core values, value proposition, and short- and long-term goals. A detailed SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) should be also be acknowledged. The process of putting this information down on paper may bring unexpected clarity and help you to stay focused.
Once you have this information, be prepared to share it with the world for the sake of trust and transparency. Now we can work through your problems and develop a digital strategy and do the following:
- Spend time getting to know your business model and objectives in order to determine if your product or service is actually valuable to your clients
- Conduct detailed marketing research and analyze your business and digital competition in order to help you understand your market and refine your unique value proposition and competitive edge
- Analyze your digital presence and identify gaps
- Recommend solutions to help you rebuild your digital presence and develop/implement a digital strategy
You work so closely with your business that you might not see the big picture. Often, the most obvious problems and solutions can be more easily spotted by an outsider, even without expensive research. Brandstar Digital Marketing’s business intelligence is difficult for your competition to replicate. We can scale the work to fit your needs and budget without cutting corners. We believe in giving clients our honest feedback and will help you to make necessary adjustments to stay on track in the rapidly changing digital environment.